Myanmar Villagers Detained After Overnight Battle with Junta Troops

By The Irrawaddy 12 May 2021

Around 35 villagers, including women, children and three civilian resistance fighters, were detained in a Wednesday morning raid by approximately 500 junta troops in Myingyan Township, Mandalay Region, after a prolonged shootout.

Around 5,000 villagers have fled their homes due to the fighting, a resident told The Irrawaddy.

The shooting began on Tuesday afternoon when 13 vehicles carrying more than 100 junta troops attempted to enter Talokmyo, which includes four villages.

Three junta troops were reportedly killed and several were injured when facing unexpected resistance from villagers using homemade firearms, slingshots, air-guns and some actual firearms.

Reinforcements from Mandalay, Natogyi, Myingyan and Taungtha townships fired on the villages until 1am on Wednesday.

At around 6am on Wednesday, troops started shooting again and raided the village, according to residents.

More junta troops were injured but no casualties were reported among the resistance fighters, the source said.

The Irrawaddy was not able to independently confirm the military casualties.

Soldiers are still deployed in Talokmyo.

“Our villagers could not resist them indefinitely as our homemade firearms do not work well enough in shootouts against automatic weapons,” a Talokmyo resident told The Irrawaddy on Wednesday.

Older villagers, the sick and children have been forced to seek shelter in surrounding farmland in the height of the hot season, according to residents.

“The regime’s actions are totally unacceptable. It violates the laws it claims to be enforcing. The junta troops are much worse than robbers,” said a displaced villager.

In late April and early May troops twice tried to raid the Talokmyo villages but were resisted by residents using slingshots and darts.

The junta is facing increased resistance in several townships in Sagaing, Mandalay and Magwe regions and Chin State.

Recent shootouts between the civilian resistance and junta troops have forced around 13,000 civilians from around 25 villages in Kani Township, Sagaing Region, into hiding in forests.

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